Mayweather vs Maidana 3: Would an upset set-up the biggest fight ever?Written by Leroy Cleveland
It was, perhaps, the most difficult bout in Floyd's career.
Although the decision was not entirely controversial, some believed Maidana deserved the nod or that the bout should have been ruled a draw.
Off the heels of September's record-setting buy rate of 2.2 million for Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez in September 2013, it's believed May 3rd's PPV fight card headlined by Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana generated only 900,000 buys, falling well short of the hopes and expectations of Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions.
Will Maidana be the first to topple the fight legend this time around? Or will Mayweather do a better job of making the proper adjustments to smother the Argentine's fire?
If Floyd were to lose, Mayweather vs Maidana 3 would be a near certainty.
How big would it be - and would it eclipse Mayweather vs Canelo in revenue?
There are many factors to consider when answering that question. First and foremost, much of the answer depends on what happens in the ring. If Maidana wins controversially or in a lackluster affair, Mayweather vs Maidana 3 would be negatively impacted yet mammoth nonetheless. if the fight is a "war" and the underdog wins by decision or knockout, Mayweather vs Maidana 3 could very well surpass Mayweather vs Canelo in revenue, becoming the highest grossing combat sports event ever.
Mayweather is seemingly consumed with his perfect record as is the media to a much lesser degree. If Floyd loses Saturday, it would send shockwaves through the world of sports and the biggest question come Sunday morning would undoubtedly be, "When are they fighting again?"
Fans, casual and hardcore, who missed Saturday's bout would make seeing Mayweather vs Maidana 3 a priority. And yes, even a contingent of non-fans would tune in to see if boxing's biggest star and the world's highest paid athlete could redeem himself and rise above all of his drama outside the ring.
Yes, the turmoil in Mayweather's life coupled with a loss would only make Mayweather vs Maidana 3 bigger.
After losing to Buster Douglas in 1990, Mike Tyson fought several more times before serving three years (1992-1995) in prison for rape.
His 1995 return bout with Peter McNeeley, a relative unknown, was (at the time) the highest-grossing fight in history.
Highly anticipated, the fight was an overwhelming financial success, grossing $96 million worldwide, including a then-record $63 million in pay-per-view buys with the fight being purchased by 1.52 million American homes. Tyson would eclipse this figure with both his 1996 fight against Evander Holyfield and the subsequent 1997 rematch between the two.
For better or worse, the world had greater interest in Mike Tyson after his loss. He was a contentious figure and beatable.
Mayweather, like Tyson back then, is very controversial and always in the news... And controversy, drama and interesting storylines sell.
Mayweather vs Canelo, the biggest combat sports event ever, generated $150 million in revenue. Don't be surprised if Mayweather vs Maidana 3, should it happen, exceeds the $150 million in revenue generated by Mayweather vs Canelo.
So should Showtime execs be pulling for Maidana this time around or should they hope Mayweather stays perfect for a presumed super showdown with boxing star Manny Pacquiao?
Ideally, and from a purely financial standpoint, the best case scenario would be for Maidana to defeat Floyd in a thrilling affair Saturday and then get pummeled in their third bout. This way, all parties would benefit from the massive attention the third fight would receive and Mayweather vs Pacquiao, the impending biggest fight of all-time, would be secured because Floyd will have redeemed himself in the rubber match.